A Montessori Homeschool
Once again I have been thinking! 🙂 This time I have been thinking alot about homeschooling. I have been preparing my plan for the 2011-2012 year and getting things together, and I started to think about being a Montessori family. Many people, including me, start Montessori at home with the thought that we can make a school for our kids. However, I am thinking that this is not really possible. As a homeschooled child I know that homeschooling is totally different then going to school. We may learn the same things, but no matter what you do it is always different then going to a classroom. Yet as a parent doing Montessori with my kids I expect to have the same envriorment that a teacher would have in a Montessori classroom. I think I may be crazy! 🙂 I think that this is a really good reality check for me as we head into a new year. My method of handling things has to be a little different since it is just my two kids. Bunny will need to learn everything from me, so there will be less independent work from her as she is learning a new skill and I will have play the games with her that she would have otherwise played with another child in a classroom. She will need more help from me to do research since she has no one else to work with. This means that I will be giving her far more one on one then a normal teacher in a Montessori classroom would think appropriate. Pup can learn from Bunny, but she is much father ahead in her work, so it will be a while till she can do what Bunny is doing. It also means that she will try new things sooner then she is ready for sometimes. This means my challenges are different then a teacher in a school, not harder or easier, just different.
Another challenge that I think is different for me is the discipline issue. I love the peace table. I think that it is such a great way for children to talk to their peers and work issues out in a loving way. I want to do it here, but it just hasn’t worked yet. Pup cant talk things out yet, and most the time when I help them work things out, its whenever they are in the house! We just never walked into the other room to use the space. So I thought about how it worked in a classroom and I realized that they are all in a one room area (for the most part). They aren’t going up or down stairs or into other parts of the house. They are all together. Then I thought about the screaming that sometimes happens here and I wondered what does a teacher do in that situation. ThenI thought about how Bunny would be in a school, and I realized she wouldn’t scream in a place with other people. She would be on her best behavior. Most kids are in school. I think alot of parents hear that their kids are wonderful in school, such kind people and good students. But the parents are unsure of where this kids is when they get home. There are many times when Bunny comes home from somewhere and is tired, grumpy, and this make her sassy and unkind. Not that she is bad, just that she is tired and at home. Home is a safe place, a place where a person (or kid) can be in a bad mood and still be loved and safe. I think that many kids are like this. I have been, as you all know, working on the best way to teach my kids respect. I have desiced to use timeout when the girls are misbehaving or when they need time to calm down. I know that this is not what is considered “Montessori”, but this is where that difference between a home and a school come in. Here at home my kids are always in their own space, they are always home. They are safe here and know that if they act up I will still love them, they have their own things here and they want to be sure that their sibling doesn’t take it, they are here with me 24-7 and I am sure that they get tired of me! My challenges are different, so my response must be too.
Sooo….I guess my point of the novel is that as a homeschooling family, I have to realize that I will not have the same experience as a teacher because I am their mom. I need to adjust my thinking and plan accordingly. I am sure that all of you moms out there who are homeschool have all come to this realization as well. I know that I can use most all of the Montessori Method, but some of it may need to be adjusted to fit us. This is a big thing for me because I love the method and want to keep things as true to Maria’s work as possible. I think though that this will help me. Thinking thing out will really allow me to know what will be the best for our family this school year! Please know that these are just my thoughts and may not be true for everyone.
July 20, 2011 @ 3:13 pm
You’ve nailed it 100%. As a preschool teacher, I have seen first hand how children behave far differently at school than they do at home. I’ve had so many parents tell me about behaviors their children exhibit at home that I have never seen at school. I always tell them that this is the way it is supposed to be. And, as a parent myself, I would much rather have my child misbehave at home than at school!
Montessori Print Shop
July 20, 2011 @ 5:58 pm
While the traditional “timeout” isn’t really part of Montessori, redirecting a child to a quiet place to work, think, or observe others is often used.
The point of the redirection is not to punish the child, but to give them an opportunity to view how others work peacefully together, or speak with respect to each other.
As well, it clearly demonstrates to them that if they do not speak or work with others appropriately, they can not actively participate.
After a short period of time the child should always be lovingly invited to rejoin the activity so that they have an opportunity to try again.
When the ‘punishment’ aspect is taken out of discipline, the children will learn how to manage (discipline) themselves willingly, instead of out of fear.
July 20, 2011 @ 6:33 pm
Thanks Mieke! I agree, I would rather help my kids work out their behavoir at home, then have them in a public situation without the tools they need to handle it!
MPS thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I think that the way that I do timeout is very much the same thing. I tell my child that is doign something inappropriate that they need to stop, or go to timeout. Usually that is all they need! If they choose to not stop something (taking toys from each other was today’s example) then I lead them to timeout. We use our bottom step as a timeout spot. Its out of the way, but not out of the activity if that makes sense. I do set a timer for them according to their age. When the time is up, I come to sit with them and talk a bit about what happened. Then its hugs and kisses all around. If they need to apologize to someone then they go and do that, and its over! As I have gone back to using timeout again I have seen Bunny try and work things out with out having a meltdown or being mean! I love to see that! Even Pup is doing better. 🙂
Jessie Lee (Montessori Mom Made In Canada)
July 21, 2011 @ 1:00 am
being a mom of a baby i have read and always reference “what to expect the first year” and right in the book it says that babies and children misbehave at home and not in public/caregivers house because they have a sense of comfort at home and are very comfortable with their parents.
Susana of Montessori Candy
July 21, 2011 @ 2:04 am
Stephanie, I think it is great that you are taking the time to reflect on your situation and how to adapt Montessori to fit in with your family and home. I have done this as well over the years, and just this month, I decided to add a sofa into our home classroom. I had to make other changes to make way for the sofa, but have found it to be such a wonderful addition! It is so nice to be able to get comfy with my 5 year old while on the sofa while he “reads” to me, all the while I am nursing the baby and my 3 year old daughter is joining us and learning letter sounds as brother sounds words out. You’ve given me some food for thought, regarding being both mother and teacher and how the roles are different because we ARE mommy and at home while trying to teach. I’m going to chew on that one for a bit! I think it will help me in certain situations…
I love what Jennifer (MPS), said regarding discipline: “When the ‘punishment’ aspect is taken out of discipline, the children will learn how to manage (discipline) themselves willingly, instead of out of fear.” I think she is saying that if we use discipline appropriately and not acting out in anger, we are giving our children a tool they can use later in life to keep themselves in check! What a great tool that is! If the children could learn self moderation in situations now, as they get older I think it will help them be able to cope and deal with life better.
Thank you for this post Stephanie!
July 21, 2011 @ 2:34 am
Thanks Jessie for stopping by! I dontknow about you, but I want my kids to be comfortable in their home. I dont want them to act up, but I do want them to feel safe!
Susana, what you and Jennifer have said is something that I am still thinking through. I know that I need to be more calm and less reactive with my kids when they do things that arent appropriate. Writing about this issuse has been helping me get my ideas in order! I think that I have fallen into yelling more then I should and being able to use timeout has helped me remain calm and teach them rather then punish them. So far the more I talk about it, the better I am when the moments arise! 🙂 It is also taking a bit of a toll on me emotionally because I feel like a bad mommy. But I know that those thoughts are not true, I just need to keep doing my best, so they can do theirs! Thanks for all your comments. I love that you have a couch in your schoolroom! I truly believe that we as homeschoolers are going to have to learn to do things just a little differently according to our family needs! Thanks for stopping by!
homeschooling in Asia
August 11, 2011 @ 2:37 pm
homeschooling in Asia